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Friday, 26 April, 2002, 09:41 GMT 10:41 UK
Is Burma's military government serious about reform?
Burma's military government has been holding talks with opposition leader and Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi for 18 months, raising hopes of a reconciliation.

The two sides have been at loggerheads since the military refused to recognise the 1990 election result which would have put Aung San Suu Kyi's democratic party in power. She has been under house arrest for nearly two years.

In recent weeks, rumours have started spreading that the two are close to a breakthrough. Aung San Suu Kyi could even be released - perhaps paving the way for widespread political change.

However, sceptics say the government is drawing out the talks as a way to stifle international criticism of its human rights record which is one of the worst in Asia.

Is Burma's military government serious about reform? Could a breakthrough be at hand?


This Talking Point has now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Aung San Suu Kyi might have been holding out for nothing all these years

Saihukkhur, Germany
The Burmese military regime could be serious with the reform, if it could stage-manage and orchestrate the process according to its specification. What the SPDC wants now is legitimacy and a strong dose of financial aid. Seen within this context, it is likely that the military junta could be ready to crack down on an NLD that is relatively softened due to years of harassment. If so, the outcome could be only a continued military dominated government and the NLD and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi might have been holding out for nothing all these years.
Saihukkhur, Germany

The world should realise that this military dictator has no intention of transferring power to form a civilian government and has no goodwill for the citizens of Burma.
Anonymous, UK

See also:

23 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
Burma set for key UN talks
19 Mar 02 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Burma's secret talks
25 Apr 02 | Asia-Pacific
UN's Burma envoy 'hopeful of progress'
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